Julie Crist is wise. We reached her at AccuPlanet, an alternative health business in Colville, WA, to ask why doing nothing is better than doing.
Her first response is to quote Mahatma Gandhi who said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
“Our chronic busyness is not normal or healthy, and most of the other humans on the planet don’t live life like many of us. You can eat right and exercise but if you neglect your mental and spiritual hygiene, you are probably cutting the benefits from all your hard work by at least half. That’s how important it is to bring your entire life to a halt on a regular basis.
“This is not easy. All of us trying to survive in America today are under constant attack to ‘be more productive.’ In my job, every minute of the day is scheduled. This is every bit as pathological as a flu bug. However, my time off is holy, and my home is a sanctuary where I recover. I try to give my soul room to breathe and reconnect with my natural rhythms by NOT scheduling anything that is not necessary. I drink in all the quiet time I can. I rarely ever pick up the phone or get on the computer on my days off and we don’t have TV in the house. An occasional movie is it. In a word, my weekends are antisocial.”
Then she quotes Master Zhongxian Wu: ‘My first feeling about life in American culture is that life is a rush . . . When I first came here, it was a big shock to see that everyone had a schedule book. As I started working with people in the U.S., I found that everything had to be planned ahead. I felt that I could not enjoy the moment when I tried doing this. I had to think about what I would be doing in the next hour, even in the next minute. It seemed to me that one day’s life was not whole. It was divided into many small pieces. I have tried not to make too many plans in a day, but I have never used a schedule in all my time here. I try to maintain my daily oneness in life.’
Says Julie about one of her biggest lessons about daily oneness is to STOP over-extending and over-committing, but most of all to ignore as many of her brilliant ideas as possible: ‘Oh, Wouldn’t it be great if we built a . . . over there, took a trip to . . . bought another . . . Did this, did that, went here or there?
“No, it wouldn’t.” she declares with conviction. “It would mostly be more clutter to manage, more time wasted, more stress and less freedom and joy. More and more I tell my chattery mind to shut up. Simplify, simplify.
“Pick one thing today not to do. Give yourself an entire day unscheduled. Stop multi-tasking. Take a day off from the phone and computer. Give meditation a try. Spend some time outside and drinking tea.”
If you can, it will clean and nourish your mind and spirit.